We’re taking a look at laughs today, folks, and in this case maybe some unwarranted ones. It’s not often that we choose to look negatively on comedy; the world can always use more laughter, and in most instances we’re all too happy to suspend judgement and just allow people the opportunity to enjoy the feeling of hilarity that some movies can provide. That said, we always want to approach things with a critical eye, so today we’re going to be examining 10 extremely overrated comedies, and telling you why we aren’t as high on them as everyone else seems to be. Now, we’re not saying these are straight up bad movies—rather, we just don’t believe the hype—and that maybe there’s something out there a little more hilarious that you could invest your time in. So without further ado, here are 10 comedies that we feel are extremely overrated…what do you guys think?
10. Trainwreck (2015)
We’re loathe to put a female-fronted comedy on this list, as we feel like most any time a woman can make it in comedy it’s almost always hard-earned and well-deserved (we’re big Sarah Silverman fans). That said, we just didn’t get the hype when we finally saw Trainwreck, the 2015 comedy that starred Amy Schumer, Bill Hader and LeBron James (yeah, LeBron!). Trainwreck, which received some very serious critical and commercial success upon its release, was definitely a funny movie; Schumer is likable enough, and Hader is overdue for the comedic leading man role that he pulls off well here. Hell, even LeBron makes a couple of key jokes. So why is Trainwreck on here? For many of the same reasons why you’ll find some other Judd Apatow-produced comedies on here; pacing issues and a disappointing and predictable third act. Trainwreck was too long, and while we applaud Schumer for pushing the envelope with her sex-positive humor, allowing the movie to fall victim to the familiar trappings of the romantic comedy genre was definitely a disappointing thing for us to see.
9. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
From conversations with both staff at Goliath and the totality of our combined social groups, one thing became abundantly clear when discussing Napoleon Dynamite, the debut feature from director Jared Hess: you either love it or you hate it, there’s no in between. For our part, we find Napoleon Dynamite unworthy of the adulation and fan-fare lumped upon it during its initial release in 2004. This strange indie film, which stars Jon Heder as a high school outcast who befriends a transfer student and attempts to help him run for class president, isn’t as funny as you might remember it to be, and in fact much of the film’s humor comes across as stale and particularly inefficient given a contemporary re-watching. To its credit, Napoleon Dynamite did force studios to rethink the commercial viability of independent films, a fact for which audiences should be eternally grateful. That said, there’s been far better independent comedies released since Napoleon Dynamite.
8. Get Him to the Greek (2010)
We loved Forgetting Sarah Marshall as much as anyone (we think it’s one of the very best Judd Apatow-produced comedies, if not the best), yet we were surprised to hear that Russell Brand’s leather clad lothario Aldous Snow would be receiving a spin-off film of his own, titled Get Him to the Greek. It just seemed so… unnecessary. Sure, Brand’s character was funny, but was he really worthy of an entire film dedicated to his antics? As we found out after seeing the film, the answer was no. Get Him to the Greek, which also stars Jonah Hill and Rose Byrne, was very much an unnecessary film, and despite the fact that it was a modest critical and commercial success, we still don’t see the need for a movie that’s all about how ridiculous Brand can act before his charm dissipates. Not even P. Diddy could save this one.
7. Scary Movie (2000)
Taken by itself, Scary Movie could have been a goofy send-up of the horror movie clichés audiences had grown tired of circa 2000, In fact, had it not been for innumerable awful (yes, awful) sequels, spin offs and mock ups of every other conceivable film (produced by the same individuals, mind you), it’s possible Scary Movie might not have found its way onto this list. However, it was Scary Movie that paved the way for garbage like Meet the Spartans and Dance Flick, and for that unforgivable evil we’re going to slot it in at number seven on this list. Let’s say this again, people, the world did not need or want any of these spoof films. As such, we’ve no choice but to lambaste this comedy, which launched the career of Anna Faris, while also starring Damon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, and Shannon Elizabeth. Spoofing horror films as varied as I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Blair Witch Project, and The Sixth Sense, Scary Movie owes the world an apology for unleashing the unending torrent of spoof films which still haunt contemporary culture today.
6. Elf (2003)
Like many of the other comedies on this list, Elf isn’t a particularly bad film; rather, it’s just an overrated one. That is to say, its cultural legacy doesn’t align with the number of laughs you actually get once you pop the disc in and sit back to enjoy. Elf, directed by Jon Favreau, stars Will Ferrell as an oversized Elf in Santa’s employ who discovers he’s actually a human being. Shenanigans ensue when he leaves the North Pole and attempts to carve out a living in New York City, where his innocence and naivety are put to the test. Also starring Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Ed Asner and Mary Steenburgen, Elf is one of those movies that always seems to get a ton of love around Christmas, despite the fact that there are far superior Christmas comedies that could be watched at any given moment (Scrooged, anyone?).
5. Knocked Up (2007)
While 2005’s The 40 Year Old Virgin was the first film to introduce to Judd Apatow and his crew of comedy actors (most of whom are now household names, including Seth Rogen, Jason Segal, Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell, among others), it was Knocked Up that really sent the comedy team into the upper stratosphere. A commercial and critical smash, Knocked Up introduced the world to its most lovable man child, Rogen, and put him in the awkward position of raising a child with Katherine Heigl after a one night stand gone horribly wrong. While we’re not here to suggest that Knocked Up isn’t a good movie (it’s still very funny), we are going to suggest that there’s far better comedies released by Apatow and co. (Forgetting Sarah Marshall being one) that traffic in their “romantic comedy for men” genre. Perhaps it’s because we find Heigl an unlikable and irritating lead; perhaps it’s because for all his lovable slobbishness, we prefer Rogen as a supporting character rather than the star. Whatever the case, we think it leaves Knocked Up a little overrated as far as comedies are concerned.
4. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
There’s a great deal fewer British-tinged “Yeah, baby…yeah!”s than there were upon the release of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, and that’s something we’re quite grateful for. This somewhat funny send-up of James Bond films features Mike Myers playing both the protagonist and antagonist in an Eddie Murphy-esque twist, and while it succeeded in entertaining the populace during the late 1990s, it’s pretty painful to try and sit through now. Lame probably isn’t the right word, but it’s the only word that comes to mind. A film that spawned two sequels (neither of which manage to improve on the original), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Austin Powers: Goldmember, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery was directed by Jay Roach and also stars Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York and Mimi Rogers.
3. Meet the Fockers (2004)
Remember when we spoke of Get Him to the Greek not as a bad film, but as an unnecessary one? That’s exactly how we feel about Meet the Fockers, the 2004 sequel to Meet the Parents, starring Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand. While Meet the Parents was an enjoyable, often funny film that saw an awkward Stiller navigating an even more awkward situation than many movie goers can relate to (meeting the parents is always awkward), Meet the Fockers is an entirely unnecessary film that attempts to flip the situation on its head, but fails miserably in introducing audiences to the Focker family, a group of individuals sewn together entirely by hippy clichés and the ghost of Dustin Hoffman’s acting career. It’s a forced, unpleasant movie that shouldn’t even exist, let alone maintain a solid reputation as a comedy sequel. And that title? Come on, man.
2. The Waterboy (1998)
We find Adam Sandler to be a bit like McDonald’s; consumed in mild doses on infrequent occasions, he’s generally not harmful and can even be mildly enjoyable, given the right mood. That said, if Adam Sandler is McDonald’s, then The Waterboy is his quadruple Big Mac; it’s too much of something unpleasant all at once. The story of a mild-mannered water boy who eventually earns a role on a down-and-out football squad after his hidden anger issues reveal a startling tackling ability, The Waterboy is a painful endeavor that sees Sandler stutter his way through 90 odd minutes of Southern jokes while somehow managing to squander the talents of both Kathy Bates and Henry Winkler. Yeah, it’s that bad. And some people like this movie??
1. The Hangover (2009)
You might not know this, but The Hangover remains the fourth highest grossing R-rated film of all time. In fact, it made more money at the box office than stalwarts like Saving Private Ryan, The Exorcist, Gladiator and Wedding Crashers. How, you might ask? Nobody is quite sure. While The Hangover is most definitely a funny movie, carried mostly by the overwhelming charm of Zach Galifianakas, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms, it isn’t the comedy juggernaut that its critical and commercial reputation might lead you to believe. It’s funny, but it’s not that funny. Toss in the fact that the film’s sequel is almost a direct remake (except in Bangkok), and it’s easy to see why this movie falls solidly in the overrated category.